en How to Keep Pets Safe From COVID-19 During these unprecedented times, new phrases seem to be coined daily. “Social distancing.” “Novel virus.” “Presumptive case vs. positive case.” “Shelter-in-place.” 
But while our vernacular may be changing, one thing has stayed the same—how much we love our pets, and how much they love us. And when we’re scared or stressed, there’s nothing better than being close to your pet. 
But if we’re sick, could we actually be putting our pets in danger? 
A very small number of animals have been reported to be infected with the novel coronavirus after close contact with people who had COVID-19. However, it is still NOT believed that pets can pass COVID_19 to people.
So what should you do to protect your pets? Here’s what you need to know.       
What Are the Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Cats and Dogs?
On April 22, 2020, two cats from separate households in New York state tested positive for COVID-19. Both were believed to have contracted the virus through contact with infected people. 
The cats had mild respiratory signs and are expected to make a full recovery. These findings were not surprising to scientists and veterinarians due to feline susceptibility to coronaviruses. 
A pug in North Carolina has tested positive, as well, after being exposed to three family members who tested positive. The symptoms reported by the family were gagging, a mild cough, and not wanting to eat. The pug was sick for only a few days and made a full recovery.
Two dogs in Hong Kong also tested positive for the virus, but they did not show any signs of illness. Both had contact with COVID-19 positive individuals. 
Is There a Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus in Cats and Dogs?
Currently there are no COVID-19 vaccines available for humans or animals. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that a vaccine for people could be available in as little as 12-18 months. 
Can Cats and Dogs Get Tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Idexx Laboratories, a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, has announced the availability of the Idexx SARS-CoV-2 Real PCR Test for pets. This test is now available to veterinarians in North America, and will roll out worldwide in the coming weeks. 
Veterinarians can order the test after consulting with a public health authority (for example, a state public health veterinarian in the United States), if three criteria are met:

The pet is living in a household with a human who has COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus.
The pet has already been tested for more common infections, which a veterinarian has ruled out.
The pet (especially cats and ferrets) is showing clinical signs associated with COVID-19.

Idexx does not expect this veterinary test to have an impact on human COVID-19 testing or availability.
How Do You Keep Your Pet Safe If You Have COVID-19?
If you actively have COVID-19, or suspect that you might, restrict your contact with your pets and other animals. When it’s possible, have another member of your family care for your pets while you are ill. 
Avoid direct contact with your pets, including sharing food, snuggling/petting, and kissing your pets. If you are the sole caregiver for your pets, wash your hands before and after contact with your pets and wear a face mask as advised by your doctor.
Will My Pet Get COVID-19 at the Vet’s Office?
Veterinary hospitals are doing everything they can to keep themselves, their clients, and their patients safe and healthy. Many are reducing the number of wellness appointments and elective procedures, as well as cutting back staff hours. 
Most are not allowing clients into the hospital, and instead a member of the staff brings your pet into the hospital while wearing PPE. Some are offering virtual appointments for established clientele. 
If your pet must be seen by a veterinarian, call ahead to find out the procedures they have in place, and ALWAYS follow the protocol. Veterinarians have been deemed essential during these challenging times, but they want to keep you, your pets, and themselves safe. This can only be done if everyone follows the rules. 
When you bring your pet home from the veterinarian, or even from a walk around the block, consider giving their paws a quick wipe-down to prevent tracking in any germs. A simple soap and water solution will do the trick. 
How to Practice Safety While Walking Your Dog
You should still walk your dog, because it’s important for their health. Here are some answers to questions you might have about keeping your dog safe from COVID-19 while out on your daily walks.
Should I stay away from other people/dogs on our walks?
The CDC recommends that you avoid places where large numbers of dogs and people gather, like dog parks, at this time. Walk your dog on a leash no longer than 6 feet so you can keep your pet close and avoid contact between other dogs and people along the way. 
You might be tempted to pet friendly dogs who stick their noses through a fence to greet you. Remember though, that people have the possibility of passing COVID-19 to other people’s pets, and not everyone shows symptoms of the illness right away or at all. So stay a good distance away and do not attempt to pet neighborhood dogs (or cats!).
At the same time, if you do let your dog out into your fenced yard, they should be supervised in general, and especially to prevent contact with neighbors through the fence.
Should my dog wear a face mask?
There is no evidence that masks made for pets are effective in preventing diseases transmitted by bodily fluid droplets. Instead, masks may cause your pets to have anxiety or breathing issues. 
To protect your pet from respiratory illnesses, discuss vaccinating your pet for Bordetella, parainfluenza, and canine influenza—the most common preventable respiratory illnesses in pets. 
Precautions to Take to Keep Cats Safe 
Cats do seem to be susceptible to COVID-19, as three domestic cats and several tigers have tested positive. These cats were all exposed to humans who tested COVID-19 positive. With over 2.7 million (human) cases worldwide (as of 4/24) and only three confirmed positive domestic cats, susceptibility is apparently low. 
It is not believed that cats can pass COVID-19 back to people. Cat owners should continue to check back for updates on this, but there is no reason to stop interacting with your cats, particularly if you are healthy. 
If you are ill with COVID-19 (or have symptoms), have someone else care for your pet if possible, wash your hands thoroughly before and after contact, and wear a mask when you are around your cat. 
Should I keep my indoor/outdoor cat inside?
At this time, it is recommended to keep cats and dogs away from people outside your home (other than necessary veterinary visits where precautions are being taken). That means keeping cats indoors as well. 
Featured Image:
How Plan for Your Pet’s Care if You Get COVID-19
COVID-19 and Pets: Should I Go to the Vet or Wait?
Can Pets Spread Coronavirus (COVID-19) to People?
]]> Care & Safety Mon, 27 Apr 2020 17:22:32 +0000 38273 at
How to Plan for Your Pet’s Care if You Get COVID-19  
By Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM  
As communities around the world respond to the new coronavirus (COVID-19), you should have the most up-to-date information on how it impacts you and your pets.
Because we know that pets can become infected, you should take every precaution to not give the virus to your pets. And this may mean that someone else will need to care for them until you are no longer contagious.
You should have a plan in place for your pet’s care in case you become sick with COVID-19. Here are some ways you can prepare.  
Q: What if I get COVID-19 and have to be quarantined?
A: Stock up on essential supplies for you and your pet to last 2-4 weeks.
Pets are at risk of contracting this disease, so you should create a plan of action for yourself and your pets in case of an emergency situation. COVID-19 is a great reminder to create that plan now if you haven’t already developed one. 
If you need to quarantine, make sure you have a supply of the following items that lasts 2-4 weeks:

Food and water
Prescription and preventive medications (don’t forget flea and tick, heartworm)
Emergency and hygiene supplies 

Q: How do I care for my pets if I get sick?
A: Designate someone to care for them, wash your hands before and after contact, and don’t kiss or hug your pet.
Develop a strategy in case you may not be able to care for your pets. Contact a neighbor, your veterinarian, and/or a local boarding facility to secure temporary housing in your time of need. 
If you are ill with COVID-19, or other contagious illnesses, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that you “have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal, or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with your pet or service animal.”  
Q: What if my pet needs to go to the vet while I’m sick?
A: If it’s an emergency, ask a public health official about transport, and alert your veterinarian.
If your pet requires routine care while you are sick (annual exams, vaccinations, elective surgeries or routine monitoring), ask your veterinarian to reschedule to a later date when you are healthy. 
If your pet requires immediate or emergency care, contact your local public health official to determine the best course of action to transport your pet to the veterinarian. Alert your veterinarian that you have been ill so they can take effective measures to protect themselves from the possibility of exposure.  
Q: I think my pet is ill—what do I do?
A: See your veterinarian.
If your pet shows signs of illness, and they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, see your veterinarian immediately for a full workup.  
According to the AVMA, “routine testing of domestic animals for COVID-19 is not being recommended by the AVMA, CDC, USDA, or the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD).” 
Tests may be done by official order through a collaborative decision made by local, state, and federal animal and public health officials.
This is a rapidly developing situation, and we encourage you to follow the CDC and WHO’s websites for further information. Take all of the necessary precautions to stay safe, and have a plan ready for you and your pet.
Can Pets Spread Coronavirus (COVID-19) to People?
COVID-19 and Pets: Should I Go to the Vet or Wait? What’s the Protocol?
7 Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Paws
]]> Care & Safety Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:55:04 +0000 38255 at
Purina Introduces Revolutionary Cat Food That Reduces Cat Allergens  
Purina is introducing a new cat food called “Pro Plan LiveClear” that reduces cat allergens, helping cat owners be closer with the cats they love. LiveClear is the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens in cat hair and dander.
Offering a revolutionary approach to the management of cat allergens, Pro Plan LiveClear comes at a time when as many as one in five adults are sensitive to cat allergens, according to Purina.
This can limit interactions between pet parents and cats, as current methods for managing cat allergens often include limiting time or activities with the cat, isolating the cat in the home or removing the cat from the home altogether.
Pro Plan LiveClear shows promising results in helping to reduce the allergen burden in cat households.
“I have numerous clients, and even veterinary colleagues (including myself), that have varying degrees of sensitivity to cat allergens. A food that could potentially reduce the allergens produced by cats, while still providing high-quality nutrition, could be life-altering,” says Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM at Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, VA.
Over a decade of research has gone into creating Pro Plan LiveClear. LiveClear has been shown to reduce the allergens in cat hair and dander by an average of 47% starting in the third week of daily feeding.
Pro Plan LiveClear works by neutralizing the major cat allergen—called Fel d 1—that is found in a cat’s saliva. The recipe is formulated with a specific protein sourced from eggs as the key ingredient. This egg protein binds with the Fel d 1 in the cat’s mouth, neutralizing the cat allergen and its effects when it spreads through the environment.
Purina makes it clear that this cat food is not intended to replace other allergen-management strategies, like vacuuming or extensive cleaning of the home, but it offers an additional tool to reduce cat allergens in the environment.
For more information, please visit Purina Pro Plan.
]]> allergy care cat Health & Science Tue, 21 Apr 2020 18:54:39 +0000 38271 at
IcelandicPlus LLC Voluntarily Recalls Whole Fish Capelin Fish Pet Treats Due to Fish Exceeding FDA Size Restrictions Brand Name: Icelandic+ (Whole Capelin Fish Pet Treats)
Recall Date: 03/23/2020
Recalled Products:
Out of an abundance of caution IcelandicPlus LLC of Ft. Washington, PA, is recalling its Capelin Pet Treats.
The product comes in a clear plastic package or tube, and marked:


They are packaged in a 2.5 ounce tube or a 1.5 or 2.5 ounce bag.

8 5485400775 9 
8 5485400711 7 
8 5485400757 5

Lot Numbers:

02/2020 to 02/2022

Reason for Recall:
IcelandicPlus LLC is recalling its Capelin Pet Treats because some of the fish have exceeded the FDA compliance guideline for fish larger than 5 inches. The FDA has determined that salt-cured, dried, or fermented un-eviscerated fish larger than 5 inches have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning in humans between 1981 and 1987 and again in 1991.
Since some IcelandicPlus Capelins are larger than 5 inches there is a possible health risk. To date there have been no reported illnesses of dogs, cats, or persons in connection with Capelin. Nor has there been any positive test results for Clostridium botulinum from any IcelandicPlus Capelin.
What to Do:
Distributors, Retailers and Consumers who have purchased IcelandicPlus’s Capelin can return it to the location where it was purchased for a refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1857-246-9559. Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm EST.
Source: FDA
]]> Alerts & Recalls recall Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:04:15 +0000 38269 at
UK Charity Is Training Dogs to Smell COVID-19 Now, a U.K.-based charity called Medical Detection Dogs (MDD) is collaborating with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Durham University to train dogs to use their powerful sense of smell to detect the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 
Extensive testing for COVID-19 is crucial in the fight against the pandemic, but there is still a shortage of these tests in many countries, including the United States. Other countries, like South Korea and Germany, have been able to significantly flatten the curve by providing early care to those testing positive, especially those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. 
For years, MDD has successfully trained dogs to detect malaria, prostate and colon cancer, Parkinson’s, and bacterial infections. They’ve extensively researched the science of the canine sense of smell and believe that they can train dogs to detect this latest threat. Dogs are able to detect subtle changes in the temperature of the skin, so they could be able to detect when a person is running fever. 
Professor Steve Lindsay at Durham University said, “If the research is successful, we could use COVID-19 detection dogs at airports at the end of the epidemic to rapidly identify people carrying the virus. This would help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after we have brought the present epidemic under control.” 
The animals could be used to identify travelers infected with the virus who are entering a country. They would also be able to be deployed in other public spaces to identify individuals who may be unaware that they could be spreading the highly infectious disease. 
“The dogs could be ready in as short as six weeks to help provide a rapid, noninvasive diagnosis towards the tail end of the epidemic,” said Dr. Claire Guest, Chief Executive and co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs. “In principle, we’re sure that dogs could detect COVID-19. We are now looking into how we can safely catch the odor of the virus from patients and present it to the dogs.”
This method will allow the dogs to screen even people showing no symptoms as a sort of triage to determine who needs to be tested.
Professor James Logan, head of the Department of Disease Control at LSHTM, said, “Our previous work demonstrated that dogs can detect odors from humans with a malaria infection with extremely high accuracy—above the World Health Organization standards for a diagnostic.”
“We know that other respiratory diseases like COVID-19 change our body odor, so there is a very high chance that dogs will be able to detect it. This new diagnostic tool could revolutionize our response to COVID-19 in the short term, but particularly in the months to come, and could be profoundly impactful,” he said.
There are numerous heroes that are emerging daily during this global pandemic—from health care workers and first responders to truck drivers and grocery store workers. It looks like we may be able to add dogs to that list in the near future. 
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]]> dog Health & Science safety Tue, 07 Apr 2020 14:16:50 +0000 38268 at
COVID-19 and Pets: Should I Go to the Vet or Wait? What’s the Protocol?  
By Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM
It’s a scary time right now, and everyone is adjusting to a new normal. During this time of social distancing, we should all be trying to do our part to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19. This means staying home, eating in, and reducing unnecessary contact with others. 
While our pets are probably loving this extra cuddle time with us, what do you do if they need to go to the veterinarian? 
Many veterinary hospitals are recommending to only come in if your pet is ill, and to postpone any routine visits until a safer time. Some are using telemedicine, where you can connect with your vet through video chat for minor issues or scheduled follow-ups.
This guide will help you determine whether you need to take your pet to the vet now vs. waiting, what to expect, how to prepare, and what to do if your vet is closed.
Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet Now?
With the new practice of social distancing, how do you know if you should bring your pet to your veterinarian today, or if it’s something that can wait?
Here are some helpful tips to ensure you are taking the best possible care of your pet while minimizing the risk to expose you and your pet to COVID-19:
Go to an emergency veterinarian immediately if your pet:

Ingested a toxin: human medications, chocolate, xylitol (artificial sweetener), antifreeze, rat poison, raisins, etc. Call poison control immediately at 888-426-4435.

Has an open wound  

Has a history of trauma

Is showing signs of pain

Is having difficulty breathing 

Suddenly shows signs of lameness or weakness

Is having difficulty urinating (especially cats)

Has prolonged vomiting and diarrhea (especially if blood is seen), or any severe distention of the abdomen

Shows neurologic signs such as seizures, tremors, stumbling, circling, being disoriented

Has an abnormal appearance or behavior, such as pale gums, bruising of the body, bulging eyes, squinting eyes, holding head to one side

Has facial swelling or hives

(Your cat) has not eaten in more than one day or is looking yellowish (icterus) 

Call your veterinarian about coming in if your pet:

Has vomited once or twice in 24 hours 

Has had diarrhea for less than 24 hours but is acting normally

Is coughing without signs of labored breathing

Is sneezing and has watery eyes

Has not eaten for less than 24 hours

Is itching or shaking ears

Schedule an appointment later if your pet:

Needs annual exams or routine bloodwork

Has new lumps or bumps without showing signs of discomfort

Has a torn toenail that is not bleeding or causing discomfort

Has worms in their stool and/or visible fleas or ticks without having diarrhea or discomfort. In this case, call your veterinarian to ask for a prescription for a dewormer and flea and tick products. 

What Do I Do If My Vet Is Closed?
Veterinary services have been deemed “essential” by the federal government, but this does not mean that they are required to stay open. 
The essential designation means that veterinary hospitals are not ordered to close as many other businesses have been. If your local hospital is unable to establish protocols that allow them to practice safely, they may choose to close. 
If your veterinarian has decided to close their office:

Call to see if there is a recorded message with the number of another vet you can call, and also check the vet’s website for this information.

Send them an email asking for a referral for another vet. It’s likely that they will still have someone answering emails from clients. 

If you are unable to reach them, call your local emergency veterinary facility, describe your concerns about your pet, and ask if they recommend for him to be seen. 

What Do I Do if I Am Sick?
If you are ill or might be ill with symptoms of COVID-19, have someone else bring your pet to the hospital for you. If you are unable to have someone else take your pet, let your veterinarian know prior to bringing your pet in for care. If your veterinarian recommends that you do bring your pet to the hospital, wear a mask and gloves and keep your distance from employees. 
What If I Need Prescription Medication for My Pet?
Ask your veterinarian if getting a 2- or 3-month supply of all necessary medications is possible now, and also ask about online options for ordering medications to minimize trips to the vet's office.
Vet Visit Checklist
1. Call Your Vet Before Coming In
If your pet is ill, call to determine when they can come in, and ask your veterinarian what protocols they have put in place to ensure the safety of you, your pet, and their team members. 
Here are some questions to ask: 

Are you offering telemedicine (video chats) for minor illnesses?

Has anyone in the hospital become ill?

Will I be able to be with my pet during the exam?

Will you come to my car to get my pet?

How will I communicate my concerns to the doctor?

Will you take my payment over the phone?

At my animal hospital, Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Virginia, we have put some simple procedures in place to limit human-to-human and pet-to-pet exposure. Everything happens while the client is in the parking lot in the comfort of their cars. 
When clients call to schedule an appointment, we take the pet’s medical history, ask about any concerns, and instruct them to stay in their cars when they arrive, as one of our nurses will come out to take their pet. Our staff members use personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize potential exposure as they come to the car and take the pet into the hospital. 
Once the exam is complete, our veterinarians call the client to discuss the findings and any recommended diagnostics or treatments. Afterward, payment is taken over the phone, and we bring the pet plus any medications needed out to the client in the parking lot.
2. Follow the Protocol
If your veterinarian has instituted protective protocols, they are doing so in order to protect you and their staff. Please take the time to learn the new rules and adhere to them carefully. Your patience and understanding during such unprecedented times are greatly appreciated. 
All pets should be on a leash or in a carrier. 
3. Stay Prepared
Here are some other things you can do to prepare for the unknown:

Take time now, while both you and your pet are healthy, to locate alternate veterinary hospitals in case yours is forced to close due to illness or inability to safely serve their clients. 

Ask your veterinarian for a copy of your pet’s medical records in case they need to be seen elsewhere (a folder full of receipts is NOT a medical record).

Check your supplies. Make sure you have enough food, litter, and medications for your pet to make it through at least a month.

Ensure that your credit card is on file with your veterinarian in case someone else must bring your pet in for you.  

Post numbers for your nearest emergency veterinarian, as well as animal poison control, in an easily visible spot in your home. 

Ask a friend or neighbor if they would be willing to take your pet to the veterinarian if you become ill, and give them the phone number and address ahead of time. 

Put together a pet emergency kit so that you can take care of small issues at home. 

Keep yourself informed of the latest updates on COVID-19 from the CDC and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).

Remain calm. 

How to Plan for Your Pet's Care if You Get (COVID-19)
Can Pets Spread Coronavirus (COVID-19) to People?
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Can Pets Spread Coronavirus (COVID-19) to People? By Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM
Updated by Dr. Katy Nelson, DVM, on April 24, 2020 
In this article:

There's no evidence that pets are playing a role in spreading COVID-19.
There are a few reports of pets being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after being in contact with people who were positive for COVID-19.
“Canine” and “feline” coronavirus are NOT the same as COVID-19.
People cannot catch “canine” and “feline” coronavirus.
Monitor trusted news outlets for the latest updates (Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Organisation for Animal Health). 

Jump to Section:

Can Humans Get Coronavirus (COVID-19) From Cats and Dogs?

Can Animals Carry the Virus on Their Skin or Fur?

Is It Safe to Adopt Shelter Pets Now?

What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and “Canine” and “Feline” Coronavirus?

Where Did COVID-19 Originate?

What You Can Do Now

As with any major health crisis, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about dogs and cats and the new coronavirus (officially called COVID-19; previously called 2019-nCoV).
There have been reports of a few pets becoming infected with the virus after being in close proximity to people with COVID-19. So we now know that pets can get the virus, but can they give it to us?
Let’s look at what we know and, just as importantly, what we don’t.
Can Humans Get Coronavirus (COVID-19) From Cats and Dogs?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
"At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low."
The World Organisation for Animal Health adds the following:
"The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals play a significant role in spreading the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare."
Can Animals Carry the Virus on Their Skin or Fur?
While certain bacteria and fungi are known to be present on the skin and hair of animals, there is no evidence that viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19, can be spread by petting or touching your pet’s fur. 
However, since animals can carry other germs that can make people sick, it’s still best practice to wash your hands before and after petting, snuggling, or playing with your pet.
Is It Safe to Adopt Shelter Pets Now?
The short answer is yes. There is no evidence at this time that pets can transmit COVID-19, and that includes shelter pets.
It is actually a wonderful time to adopt or foster a pet. Many shelters have shorter hours and reduced staff, so they're desperately seeking fosters and adopters to move pets out of the shelters right now.
Plus, you have the added bonus of being home with your foster or new pet, so you have plenty of time to help them decompress and assimilate into your household, and to do some extra training!
What’s the Difference Between COVID-19 and “Canine” and “Feline” Coronavirus?
While dogs and cats appear to be unaffected by SARS-CoV-2, they do have their own coronaviruses to deal with. Neither canine coronavirus nor feline coronavirus can infect people.
Dogs infected with canine enteric coronavirus (CECoV) typically develop diarrhea. Young puppies are at highest risk, but dogs of all ages usually recover uneventfully on their own or with symptomatic care. There is another type of coronavirus, canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV), that is associated with some cases of kennel cough in dogs.
Feline coronavirus (FCoV) also tends to cause mild, self-limiting diarrhea, especially in kittens. In rare cases, however, the virus can go dormant in the cat’s body and later mutate into a new form that causes feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a disease that is almost always fatal.
Where Did COVID-19 Originate?
Scientists don’t definitively know the source of COVID-19, but research is pointing towards bats as a likely source with an unidentified intermediary host also probably involved.
Most viruses can only infect a limited number of species, which is determined in large part by the virus’s ability to recognize receptors on host cells. However, as a group, coronaviruses seem predisposed to mutate and become able to infect new species.
For example, the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus outbreak was associated with dromedary camels and the 2002-2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus appears to have come from civet cats, with both viruses possibly originally arising in bats. 
What You Can Do Now
It seems overwhelming when you’re faced with an outbreak such as COVID-19, and as a pet parent, you’re worried not only about yourself but your pets as well. Here are some things you can do right now.
Stay Informed 
It is important to recognize that viruses are constantly evolving. The best thing you can do at this point is to stay informed by monitoring news from trusted sources. Check for current information on the CDC’s FAQs on COVID-19 and Animals.
Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
As always, good hygiene is one of the best defenses against infectious agents of all sorts. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after being around sick people or handling animals or animal waste. 
The CDC states that “it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.”
If you or your pet is ill, seek appropriate medical or veterinary attention and follow a doctor’s recommendations when it comes to vaccination and other forms of preventative care.
Featured Image:
How to Plan for Your Pet's Care if You Get (COVID-19)
COVID-19 and Pets: Should I Go to the Vet or Wait? What’s the Protocol?
7 Ways to Clean Your Dog’s Paws
]]> Care & Safety Wed, 05 Feb 2020 14:50:32 +0000 38247 at
How You Can Help Vets and Wildlife Rescues Save Animals in Australia The wildfires in Australia are having an absolutely devastating effect on humans and animals alike. According to CNN, over 17.9 million acres of land have been scorched by the fires—which is an area larger than the countries of Belgium and Denmark combined. (The tragic wildfires in California in 2019 burned 247,000 acres.)
And with the continued images and reports of injured koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies flooding in through the news, many people are clamoring to find meaningful ways to help the animals affected by the fire.
The Guardian is reporting that the ecologist Chris Dickman estimates the total loss of life amongst animals—excluding fish, frogs, bats and insects—to be over one billion.
With so many animals in need, wildlife organizations and veterinarians from all over are stepping up and working to help care for the injured.
NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. (WIRES)—a wildlife charity—has been working 24/7 to provide care to the wildlife affected by the fires.
The Australia-based team of veterinarians from World Vets, led by World Vets Disaster Response veterinarian Dr. Ben Brown, is working tirelessly on the ground to assist with injured animals—from wildlife to livestock and domestic pets.
So how can you help the veterinarians, wildlife organizations, and volunteers that are on the ground? At the moment, the best way to help is to donate to legitimate organizations to support their work.
These organizations are on the ground opening up their hospitals and homes to care for injured animals. They are also working 24/7 to provide the necessary medical care and supplies each of these animals need to heal their wounds.
Here are a few organizations that are focused on rescue and support for animals affected by the fire:

WIRES Wildlife Rescue
World Vets
Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
Australian Zoo Wildlife Warriors
Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
Zoos Victoria
Kangaroo Island Go Fund Me
American Veterinary Medical Foundation (select “Disaster Relief – AVMF Benevolent Fund” in the “Apply my donation to” dropdown)

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is already donating $25,000 to help with wildfire assistance, but they are also willing to match up to $50,000 US dollars in donations for wildlife assistance.
While we may want to volunteer our time or send supplies, these organizations are saying that right now, what they need most is financial support.

Featured Image: GAUTIER
]]> care emergency Petlanthropy safety Fri, 17 Jan 2020 20:47:06 +0000 38244 at
Did You Know that UPS Drivers Have a Facebook Group to Share Pics of the Dogs They Spot?  
I mean, there’s a whole Facebook group called Dogspotting, which is specifically dedicated to documenting said encounters.
Well it turns out that our UPS drivers have created a Facebook group of their own to show their appreciation for the pups they see on their route. Prepare yourself—it’s pretty fantastic.


And contrary to the belief that all dogs hate mail carriers, it turns out that plenty of dogs love their delivery people. Of course, many will bring treats for the dogs they encounter or packages that contain a pup’s favorite food, toys or treats.
The group is actually run by UPS drivers and was started in 2013. Their Facebook page explains,  “UPS drivers deliver packages all day long. During each day, drivers encounter many dogs, most friendly and some not so nice. When time permits, drivers snap a photo and send it in to UPS Dogs.”
Here is just a taste of some of the posts from the UPS Dogs Facebook group.



This group shows that literally everyone is excited about package deliveries, from dogs and their owners to the UPS delivery drivers themselves.
You can submit your dog’s UPS encounters to their group for the potential to be featured on their feed. Head to their Facebook page to get their email and share your pup’s love for UPS drivers.
And don’t fret if you don’t have a Facebook account; you can follow their Instagram account for your fix of UPS dog-spotting pics.
]]> dog Lifestyle & Entertainment Thu, 19 Dec 2019 16:21:09 +0000 38233 at
A Voluntary Recall of Specific Lots of Special Kitty Wet, Canned Cat Food Has Been Issued Due to Health Concerns Company: The J.M. Smucker Company
Brand Name: Special Kitty Wet, Canned Cat Food
Recall Date: 12/5/2019
Recalled Products:
Product: Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner Pate (5.5 oz. metal can)
UPC Code: 681131078962
Lot Code: 9263803
Best If Used By Date: 
Product: Special Kitty Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food (5.5 oz. metal cans)
UPC Code: 681131079235
Lot Code: 9266803
Best If Used By Date: 
Product: Special Kitty Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food (5.5 oz. metal cans)
UPC Code: 681131079235
Lot Code: 9267803
Best If Used By Date: 
Product: Special Kitty Surf & Turf Variety Pack of Pate Cat Food (5.5 oz. metal cans)
UPC Code: 681131079235
Lot Code: 9287803
Best If Used By Date: 
Reason for Recall:
The J. M. Smucker Company has announced a voluntary recall of specific lots of Special Kitty wet, canned cat food due to health concerns potentially associated with ingredients believed to not meet the Company’s quality and safety standards.
The specific affected product is the Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner Pate, but it is included in the listed variety packs. 
These products are sold in grocery stores nationwide and online. No other Special Kitty products are impacted by this recall.
What to Do:
If you have any of the listed products please discontinue feeding to your cat and dispose of the products.
Pet parents with product questions should call 888-569-6767 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET. If pet parents would like to share information about this recall with the FDA they are encouraged to do so through the agency’s reporting portal:
Source: FDA
]]> Alerts & Recalls recall Mon, 16 Dec 2019 22:10:29 +0000 38232 at
Stitches the Cat Becomes Resident Therapy Animal At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport It’s no longer uncommon to see Golden Retrievers or Labradors wondering around airports providing busy travelers with a moment of calmness. Therapy dogs have become a part of airport strategies to help people cope with the chaos of travel, but one airport has taken a different approach to therapy animals.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport announced their newest therapy animal on November 8, 2019, Stitches.

Stitches, an 11-year-old, 13-pound tabico cat—mixture of tabby and calico—is currently on duty at the airport. She’s hard to miss as she’s chauffeured around Terminal 1 in her stroller sporting a large “pet me” sign—letting everyone know she’s ready for cuddles.
This isn’t Stitches’ first rodeo, either. There’s a reason the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hired her for the job, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that Stitches is a member of North Star Therapy Animals and has been a therapy cat for the past three years. When she’s not at the airport, she can be found helping at nursing homes or relaxing at home watching her favorite show, Law and Order: SVU.
If you’re traveling through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, you could just be lucky enough to meet her for snuggles—and maybe even one of her calling cards.
Featured image courtesy of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport/Facebook
]]> cat Petlanthropy Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:41:15 +0000 38221 at
Alaska Airlines Offers Flight Training for Guide Dogs for the Blind  
Alaska Airlines has partnered with Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) to host their sixth annual, free event to help service dogs get acclimated to the various aspects of airplane travel.
Seattle PI explains that during the event, “guide dogs, puppies-in-training and people with disabilities, including visually impaired, hearing impaired and those reliant on wheelchairs, were able to explore mock airplanes and learn various safety measures in a controlled environment.”
During the event, Seattle PI reports that “Attendees were able to sit in airplane seats, let the dogs get familiar with the cabin, learn about safety measures, including emergency landing and exit row procedures, as volunteer Alaska Airlines flight attendants and pilots walked them through operations and answered questions.”
Community outreach specialist for GDB Jake Koch, who helped to organize the event and attended with his own guide dog, explains to Seattle PI, “This sort of thing is helpful because when you can’t see it’s hard to conceptualize flying. Something like this where you can actually feel everything increases safety and makes it less mystical and makes people feel more comfortable with flying.”
Alaska Airlines has actually worked very closely with GDB—along with Vision Loss Connections and Washington State Department of Services for the Blind—since 2015 to help make flying more accessible for the visually impaired.
Airports and flying are stressful enough, so it’s nice to hear that this airline and these organizations are working to make it less overwhelming for the visually impaired and their service animals.
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]]> dog Petlanthropy Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:55:48 +0000 38217 at
Cinderblock the Viral, Anti-Exercise Fat Cat Uses Fame to Help Local Nonprofits By now, you have probably seen the viral video of Cinderblock, the overweight cat, doing the absolute least when it comes to her exercise regime.

The video hit Reddit and instantly went viral with Cinderblock showing up on local and national news channels for her complete lack of commitment to her workout.
The 8-year-old cat was surrendered to Northshore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham, Washington, after her owner could no longer care for her due to health issues and having to care for her father, who suffers from dementia.
Dr. Brita Kiffney, the resident veterinarian at the hospital, explains to Q13 Fox All Local news that the owner had brought Cinderblock in to be euthanized, but “I couldn't do it and asked her to relinquish her to me.” Dr. Kiffney continues, “She agreed and was grateful, as she really didn't want to euthanize Cinder but was overwhelmed with the care of her father. So, she is morbidly obese, due to overfeeding by the father.”
So Cinderblock has been given a second chance at a healthy life. And while she may not be fitness-inclined, her caretakers at Northshore Veterinary Hospital are completely devoted to getting her back into fighting shape so that she can spend the rest of her life happy and healthy.
In another selfless act in the service of others, Northshore Veterinary Hospital is taking advantage of Cinderblock’s viral fame to raise money for the discounted veterinary services they provide to their nonprofit partners.

Northshore Veterinary Hospital is using GoFundMe to raise money for the services they provide to Brigadoon Service Dogs, Whatcom Humane Society, Alternative Humane Society, Old Dog Haven, Project Homeless and domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
Best of luck on your weight loss journey, Cinderblock! And thank you Northshore Veterinary Hospital team for using their newfound fame to help others!
To follow Cinderblock’s journey, check out the Northshore Veterinary Hospital Facebook.
Featured Image: Northshore Veterinary Hospital/Facebook
]]> cat Petlanthropy Wed, 30 Oct 2019 14:21:20 +0000 38216 at
Can Dog Training Methods Affect How a Dog Bonds With Their Owner? Study Says Yes Dog training is an important part of being a responsible pet parent. Our dogs need to be given the tools they need to adapt and respond to any circumstance they are introduced to.
While everyone can agree that dogs need to be trained, there’s a tense debate about the best way to train dogs. On one side of the argument, you have positive reinforcement trainers that believe that dogs learn more effectively using only positive rewards for successful behaviors.
On the other side of the argument, you have trainers that believe discipline is needed to effectively train a dog. They believe that a mixture of punishment and reward are needed to teach dogs how to properly behave.
While discipline-based training has a long history of use, positive reinforcement training has become increasingly supported by ongoing research. As the public debate about which training methods are more effective rages on, a new study examined a different aspect of these training methods.
Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro and a team of researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal recently published a study that examined how the different training methods affect a dog’s emotional attachment to their owner.
The study examined 34 dogs from six different dog training schools. Three of the dogs schools only used positive reinforcement methods, while the other three used various discipline methods of training.
To test the dog’s attachment to their owners, the study put each dog through a variation of what is known as the Strange Situation Test. The study explains, “The presence and absence of the owner and a stranger in a room with the dog was manipulated over different episodes. Dogs’ behavior was then analyzed for attachment-related behaviors: contact-maintenance, separation-distress and secure-base effect, as well as following upon separation and greeting upon reunion.”
The study found that dogs trained using positive reinforcement only methods had a more secure attachment to their owner. They also found that dogs trained with reward-based methods were more playful in the presence of their owner than the stranger and that they greeted their owner more enthusiastically than the stranger.
In an Psychology Today article about the study, Dr. Stanley Coren, PhD, DSc, FRSC, explains that these dog training methods create a form of classical conditioning, where “A few repetitions of ‘stimulus — event — emotion’ and we end up with a situation where the stimulus itself triggers the emotion.”
So when discipline-based training is used, Dr. Cohen explains, “The sight of you, or your hand, or the training leash and collar immediately followed by pain or discomfort will ultimately come to be associated with negative feelings and avoidance.”
So if you are hoping to build a strong and loyal bond between you and your dog, it might be best to stick with reward-based training methods.
Featured Image:
]]> dog Health & Science Tue, 29 Oct 2019 14:41:25 +0000 38214 at
The US House of Representatives Has Passed a Bill to Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Felony  
On October 22, 2019, the House unanimously passed the PACT Act, and it is now headed to the Senate to hopefully be passed and turned into law.
The PACT Act would make acts of animal cruelty—such as the crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise subjecting of an animal to bodily harm—into a federal felony. If convicted of an animal cruelty act, a guilty party could face felony charges, fines and up to seven years in prison.
According to 7 News Miami, “If passed, the bill would also close a loophole in a 2010 law that currently only punishes abuse seen in videos.”
In a press release on his website, Congressmen Ted Deutch is quoted as saying, “Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets. This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice.”
This a big step forward for animal rights and an exciting day for animal lovers.
Featured Image:
]]> Care & Safety Wed, 23 Oct 2019 18:52:59 +0000 38212 at
Do Cats Love Their Owners? Study Says a Lot More Than You’d Expect  
Researchers at Oregon State University recently published a study in Current Biology in which they examined the bonds formed between cats and their humans.
They found that cats have the capacity to form attachments to their caregivers in the same way that children and dogs do. In fact, 65% of both the kitten group and the adult cat group were found to form secure attachments to their owners.
How They Tested Cat Bonding
The researchers explain, “In our study, cats and owners participated in a Secure Base Test (SBT), an abbreviated strange situation test used to evaluate attachment security in primates and dogs.”
To do this, they placed the feline subjects in an unfamiliar room for 2 minutes with their caregiver, then 2 minutes alone and then 2 more minutes with their caregiver again.
Experts then analyzed the cats’ behavior in each scenario, specifically during the reunion period, and classified them into types of attachment.
The attachment styles were broken down as follows:

Securely attached: Cat curiously explores the room while checking in periodically with their owner for attention.

Insecurely attached:

Ambivalent: Cat clings to their owner when they return.

Avoidant: Cat avoids their owner and cowers in a corner of the room.

Disorganized: Cat switches between clinging to and avoiding their owner.

As they explain in the study, “Upon the caregiver’s return from a brief absence, individuals with secure attachment display a reduced stress response and contact-exploration balance with the caretaker (the Secure Base Effect), whereas individuals with an insecure attachment remain stressed and engage in behaviors such as excessive proximity-seeking (ambivalent attachment), avoidance behavior (avoidant attachment), or approach/avoidance conflict (disorganized attachment).”  
They performed the study on a group kittens—aged 3-8 months—as well as on full-grown cats.
The researchers explain, “The current data support the hypothesis that cats show a similar capacity for the formation of secure and insecure attachments towards human caregivers previously demonstrated in children (65% secure, 35% insecure) and dogs (58% secure, 42% insecure) with the majority of individuals in these populations securely attached to their caregiver. Cat attachment style appears to be relatively stable and is present in adulthood.”
So don’t let your cat’s “independent” nature fool you—they are far more attached to you than you think.
Featured Image:
]]> care cat Health & Science kitten senior Mon, 21 Oct 2019 13:24:06 +0000 38209 at
New Study Finds That Dog Owners Live Longer and Are More Likely to Survive Heart Attacks Any dog parent can tell you that having a furry best friend has a whole slew of benefits, from providing endless cuddles to having a loyal PIC (partner in crime). Dogs have long been considered excellent companions for humans, but recent studies suggest that dogs are helping us even more than just providing us with love and friendship.
One of the studies—Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event—found that dog owners get these extra health benefits when compared to non-dog owners:

A 33% lower risk of death for heart attacks in people living alone after hospitalization

A 15% lower risk of death for heart attacks in people living with a partner or child

A 27% lower risk of death in stroke patients that live alone after hospitalization

A 12% lower risk of death in stroke patients that live with a partner or child

To gather this data, the study used the Swedish National Patient Register to identify patients aged 40-85 that presented with an acute myocardial infarction or ischemic stroke between the dates of January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2012. They looked at sociodemographic information, dog ownership data and cause of death for patients, if applicable.
Tove Fall, co-author of this study and professor of molecular epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden, explains that dog ownership can give pet parents the motivation to get up and move, and this helps dogs get the exercise they need to stay healthy.
By getting this exercise, pet parents are avoiding the sedentary lifestyle that can contribute to premature death. Fall also emphasizes that the companionship of dogs can also help combat the loneliness that can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. 
In the other study, researchers performed a meta-analysis and examined patient data for over 3.8 million people taken from 10 separate studies. What they found was that compared to non-dog owners, dog owners had a:

24% reduced risk of all-cause mortality

65% reduced risk of mortality after a heart attack

31% reduced risk of mortality from cardiovascular-related issues

However, while these studies create promising associations between dog ownership and human health, they do not prove causation or a definite link between the two.
As Dr. Haider Warraich, director of the heart failure program at the Boston VA Healthcare System, instructor at Harvard Medical school and author of “State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science and Future of Heart Disease,” explains to NBC News that while these studies are “interesting and provocative,” he says, “it’s not enough to have me recommend patients adopt a dog to lower their risk of death.”
And don’t worry if you are not a dog person—experts suggest that you can start with any pet, including fish or small animals. NBC News explains, “Even those kinds of pets can provide a benefit, albeit a smaller one. In fact, an earlier study showed that just caring for crickets could make people healthier.”
So at the end of the day, it would seem that having a companion—whether canine, feline, big or small—comes with health benefits.
Featured Image:
]]> dog Health & Science Wed, 09 Oct 2019 15:01:24 +0000 38207 at
Dog Goods USA LLC Expands Voluntary Recall to Include Berkley Jensen Pig Ears Pet Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk Company: Dog Goods USA LLC
Brand Name: Berkley Jensen 
Recall Date: 09/03/2019
Product: Berkley Jensen Pig Ears Treats, 30-packs, sold at BJ's Wholesale Club stores.
Reason for Recall: 
Dog Goods is voluntarily expanding their previous recall to include all 30-packs of "Berkley Jensen" brand pig ears sold at BJ's Wholesale Club stores. Dog Goods purchased these pig ears from a single supplier in Brazil from September 2018 through August 2019.
What to Do:
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals and humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. 
Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact us at 786-401-6533 from Monday to Friday 9am EST through 5pm EST.
Source: FDA
]]> Alerts & Recalls Thu, 05 Sep 2019 14:42:13 +0000 38195 at
Dog Goods USA LLC To Conduct a Voluntary Recall of Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk Company: Dog Goods USA LLC
Brand Name: Chef Toby
Recall Date: 8/16/2019
Product: Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats
Product lot codes: 428590, 278989, 087148, 224208, 1168723, 428590, 222999,
074599, 1124053, 226884, 578867, 224897, 1234750, 444525,
1106709, 215812, 230273, 224970, 585246, 327901, 052248,
210393, 217664, 331199, 225399, 867680, 050273, 881224,
424223, 225979, 431724, 226340, 880207, 334498
Reason for Recall:
Dog Goods USA LLC to conduct a voluntary recall of Chef Toby Pig Ears Treats because of possible salmonella health risk.
Dog Goods bought the Products from a single supplier in Brazil from September 2018 through August 2019 and distributed nationwide in retail stores. The FDA sampled pig ears manufactured by our supplier in Brazil and one sample tested positive for Salmonella.
What to Do:
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals and humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. 
Consumers who have purchased the Products are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact us at 786-401 -6533 ex:8000 from 9am EST through 5pm EST.
Source: FDA
]]> Alerts & Recalls Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:37:34 +0000 38194 at
Brutus & Barnaby Voluntarily Recalls All Size Bags of "Pig Ears Natural Treats for Dogs" Due to Possible Salmonella Health Risk Brand Name: Brutus & Barnaby 
Recall Date: 8/27/2019
Bags of Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears were distributed throughout all states via,, and the brick and mortar Natures Food Patch in Clearwater, Florida.
The products can be identified by the use of Brutus & Barnaby's trademarked logo, and they say, "Pig Ears 100% Natural Treats for Dogs."
There are 4 available sizes:


Reason for Recall:
Brutus & Barnaby of Clearwater, Florida is recalling all size variations of Pig Ears for Dogs because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. 
Brutus & Barnaby has ceased the production and distribution of the product as the FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.
What to Do:
Consumers who have purchased Brutus & Barnaby pig ears are urged to destroy any remaining product not yet consumed and to contact the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-489-0970, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST.
Source: FDA
]]> Alerts & Recalls dog recall Thu, 29 Aug 2019 14:47:12 +0000 38193 at